Shipping liners waive 25pc to 40pc detention charges

Kathmandu, February 4

Majority of the shipping liners in Kolkata have started waiving 25 to 40 per cent of the detention charges accrued due to delays in returning containers caused by the border blockade at Nepal-India border points.

Shipping liners have exempted a certain amount of detention charges based on the negotiation of individual clients but no less than 25 per cent as their goodwill gesture towards Nepali traders, said Rajan Sharma, president of Nepal Freight Forwarders Association.

Following repeated attempts made by the umbrella organisation of the private sector to the Association of Shipping Interest in Calcutta (ASIC) and Container Shipping Lines Association Mumbai, shipping liners have decided to waive the detention charges for the containers of Nepal-bound cargoes that arrived at Kolkata port in between August-end to November-end.

However, disputes related to the detention charges imposed on 800 containers have not been settled yet. Nepali traders and freight forwarders have said that they have been seeking concession on detention fees levied by shipping liners on containers that arrived at Kolkata Port since the first week of August to November-end. But shipping liners are reluctant to provide concession in detention charges for containers that arrived at Kolkata prior to August 30.

The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) — the largest private sector umbrella body of the country — and ASIC, Kolkata had formed a talks committee to settle the dispute of detention charges of the 800 containers. Shipping liners have refused to accept the empty containers that reached Kolkata over a month back without submission of payable detention charges.

Earlier, shipping liners used to extend a grace period of 21 days to return the containers

to them in Kolkata once the cargo-containers are dispatched from the Kolkata Port. Similarly, Kolkata Port extends grace time of 10 and 20 days for cargoes ferried via road and rail, respectively.

But recently considering the request of Nepali traders, shipping liners have started extending 35 to 40 days’ grace period to return the containers as against 21 days earlier, according to Sharma. Shipping liners, namely Maersk Line, MICS Shipping, and CMA CGM, among others started providing additional grace period so that Nepali traders would not have to bear detention charges.

Sharma also informed that the next meeting of the talks committee will try to resolve the issue of detention charges imposed by shipping liners on the 800 containers. Traders are compelled to dish out $75 to $140 each day till the shipping liners acknowledge they have received the containers. This means traders will have to pay $3,000 to $5,600 per container in detention fees.